The laboratory is a facility of the Department of Food Science and Technology, devoted to improving food safety and food processing. Virginia Tech will collaborate with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Microbial Safety of Aquaculture Products Center of Excellence in Dover, Del. and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta.
Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses (collectively 'noroviruses') are the most common cause of food borne disease outbreaks in the United States, with 22 million cases reported annually. Disease is characterized by nausea and gastroenteritis, and usually passes in 2-3 days with no long-term effects. The disease is rarely fatal, but dehydration can become dangerous in rare cases. In the United States, most outbreaks are linked to consumption of raw oysters and clams, contaminated water, raw salads, and ready-to-eat foods. Noroviruses are resistant to detergents, solvents, high temperatures and freezing, and are extremely contagious.
Researchers Daniel Holliman, an M.D. working in the Virginia Tech lab; George Flick, university distinguished professor of food science at Virginia Tech; Christine Moe of Emory University; and David Kingsley and Gary Richards of USDA/ARS will identify one or more high pressure processing schedules resulting in virus inactivation. Co-PI Angela Correa of Virginia Tech will develop a suite of education and outreach materials on the applications of high pressure for human pathogen reduction in foods.
The study will also evaluate murine norovirus-1 (MNV-1) as a research surrogate for human norovirus, specifically Norwalk virus. Results obtained from human subject
Contact: Angela Correa